Sunday, April 7, 2013

Raising Funny Kids 23: Holistic Competency Learning

Competency is about being able to do things. It's not about knowing things. It's about understanding ourselves, our needs, and our place in the world - and being in harmony with all three. Competency is a holistic learning style that eventually leads to mastery. 

Mastery arises when you ignite an individual's love of learning. When this happens, people naturally desire to contribute to a subject - and should be allowed to do so. 

Throughout history, the most significant contributions to our world have come from people who were passionate about understanding something or passionate about helping someone else. In this respect, mastery must be linked to selfless concern for the well-being of others. Despite the theories that would suggest that we live in a world of mere survivalists, we also hold within us a behavior whereby we desire to help others, even at our own expense. 

The Dalai Lama also said, 
"My religion is very simple; Kindness is my religion." 

There are other, more natural methods that we can utilize to educate a child and ourselves, and while stepping away from any established system requires an element of bravery, it is also an exciting feeling to think that if we spend more time focusing on what we love rather than what we fear, that we can expand our learning into areas that will bring about a deeper appreciation for this experience that we call life. 

While traditional rote memorization has its place in keeping the brain fit and healthy, it is not a holistic learning style because it is not balanced. Accordingly, traditional learning methods can never be entirely be synthesized. That puts our global society at a disadvantage that could be minimized by holistic educational approaches and true educational reform. 

When we built our present-day, post-industrial educational school model, we knew less about the world than we do today. Yet, despite our rapid growth and learning, we do not always allow for new thoughts because genuine thinking frightens a lot of people - in particular, the people who feel they have the most to lose if they are not controlling others. 

I can't help but believe that if others knew they had more options with respect to educating their children, that many families who are disenchanted with traditional educational models would "jump ship" in a heartbeat in favor of what "feels right" for their families. 

Our family has "jumped ship" - as an advocate of open-source sharing, I've decided to publish my thoughts and our journey. In this way, I hope our family, while navigating this new journey, can still make a positive difference in the lives of others.

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